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Archive for February, 2007

Well, at least the weather is warmer!

February 22nd, 2007 at 02:05 pm

The cold snap finally broke in the Chicago area. Thank goodness! Even for Chicago, it was a bit much. Of course, they're calling for a snow storm over the weekend...

DH is back from PA, he went home for his Grandmother's funeral. But he came back with a cold, poor guy! He wanted to jump right back into the bath remodel, but now he's just sleeping all day (he works nights) since he doesn't feel well. Hopefull he'll shake it off soon and we can get moving on it.

Money-wise, not much new. Got the Federal tax refund already. It will sit in savings until we need it to pay the credit card with the truck repairs. Easy come, easy go! March is a 5 paycheck month for DH, so that will also help pay for the truck repairs. At least we can pay all in cash and not have to run a balance, the card we use has a 22% interest rate! We use it to earn frequent flyer miles, and I guess reward cards usually have a higher rate (to help pay for the rewards, I assume). So we really don't want to start a balance on that if we can avoid it! It's worth using the card though, the miles we earn paid for both DH's trips home during his grandmother's illness and death, we'd have been out over $1100 in airfare if we didn't have the miles for free tickets!

Stupid truck

February 14th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Just when I think we are turning things around!

I was planing on banking $1500 to $2000 this month, both to replenish our savings account from last month and to begin to save for a down payment to replace my aging '98 Saturn. DH's truck starts making a funny noise on Sunday, so he takes it to the shop. The quote? $1500 to fix it (something to do with the ball bearing joint and a couple other things). It had to be done, the guy at the shop said another 100 miles and the front left wheel would have fallen right off (and DH is very knollegeable about cars/trucks so he knows they weren't blowing smoke up our butts).

I guess the silver lining is that we can pay for the repairs in cash and not have to go into debt, but jeeze! Every time we take two steps forward, we wind up taking two steps back again. I feel like we're banging our heads against a wall.

I'm sorry to report that DH's grandmother died Sunday evening. She's been ill for the past couple months so it wasn't a surprise, in fact that's why DH went home to PA last month, to see her one last time since it wasn't expected that she was going to recover. Sadly the doctors were right. DH flew home today, the services will be on Friday. Thankfully, DH gets paid berevment so the paycheck won't be short like it was last month when he went home. Also, it's a good thing I'm a travel agent. I got his airline ticket for free, had we had to pay for it, it would have been $800 since it was booked last minute. So we'll just be out the car rental. I'm glad we have the resources so he can be with his family at a time like this, I can't imagine being in a possition that you couldn't get time off or be able to afford a plane ticket home, that must be terrible.

Hopefully my next post will be more upbeat! Happy Valentine's Day!

Filed the taxes

February 5th, 2007 at 10:29 am

Well, DH got his W2 on Thursday so I filed our taxes over the weekend. $450 back from the Feds and $70 from the state. Should do better next year, we'll be able to deduct the full years real estate taxes. The money will go straight to savings to put back what we had to take out last month.

I'm feeling better about our finances. This month's CC bill (the one we use and pay off each month) should be quite low and DH is getting more overtime, so that should allow me to put back 100% of the money we took out of savings last month, plus maybe a bit extra. I also got a 0% for 12 months balance transfer offer in the mail, so I'll be able to transfer our debt to another 0% card when the time comes. It's just a $75 transfer fee, which is acceptable, but I'll keep an eye out for other offers that are fee-free. It would save us that much interest in just one month (and then some) so I don't mind a $75 fee, though I'll avoid it if I can. That will give us another 12 months interest free, hopefully we'll do better about geting it paid down, but I' not hold out much hope.

We are remodeling our upstairs bath, and have decided not to make it bigger by breaking into the bedroom. DH wasn't too happy about but I just felt that, one, it was too much money and we don't have it right now, and two, that we'd be "overbuilding for the neighborhood", ie we won't get our investment back when we go to sell. Plus it will cut the time it will take to remodel by at least half, which is always a good thing! We'll still be able to put in a bath tub/shower combo and a bigger vanity (the old bath and a shower only and a wall sink) but it's going to be a tiny bathroom, no two ways about it. But it's a small house to begin with, so I think that's okay. Not many homes in our neighborhood even HAVE two full baths to begin with, and only a handfull have a full bath upstairs at all!

One area I am concerned about is my car. It's running okay, but needs work on the suspension. I'm at the point were I don't know how much more money I want to sink into it. I've had it 9 years as of March, so I've definatly gotten my money's worth, but at the same time I loath the thought of another car payment, since there is no way we can pay cash for a newer used car. But if I can get a low payment for 3 years, maybe that wouldn't be so bad. Something to research, anyway!